Thank you for your mails. I have been meaning to write to you to thank you – for so very much.
I feel as though you have saved my life. I was trying to explain the feeling to a friend last night and all I could come up with was ‘light’. I feel Light. I feel rescued. Renewed. Saved. Perhaps this is how religious epiphanies feel, as the same words come to mind! I am ‘me’ again. And I am sure you know exactly what I mean by that.
Again I thank you. I have tried to give up for years, but have never felt the sort of brain-switch that I feel now. I just know this is forever. And I cannot thank you enough for that.
Why the switch? I have no idea. It has something to do with your beauty, your lovely style, your grace. And of course the group. The stories, the special people.
You have a very special mission, for which I applaud and thank you.
Thank you, Janet. You lifesaver!
To the future
A year ago today, I woke up hungover and anxiety ridden. My husband and I had had a series of arguments (wine made me over-emotional and confrontational.) I was feeling severely depressed and knew that if I continued down this path it would ruin my relationship and ultimately, my life.
I contacted Janet Gourand via Facebook (who at that time, only hosted workshops in Cape Town.) She offered to help me with private sessions via Skype. I asked my husband to gift me the sessions as an early Christmas present. I wasn’t certain that it would stick but felt desperate enough to try.
The start of sobriety was difficult. Eating at restaurants without my two (okay, four- five) glasses of wine made me feel bereft. It took me a full six months to tell my friends that I had quit alcohol. There are some friends who I haven’t seen since the 2nd of October 2016 which is telling in itself.
A year later going without wine has become effortless. I’ve truly gotten to know myself (for instance, that I am sentimental even without the wine.) I feel brave and ultimately, just thankful for this major life-change.
So I had to write this and acknowledge it. Thanks again Janet Gourand.
“Good morning to my awesome WWW-family. Today will be my first birthday on my sobriety journey and I am really looking forward to this. I am now on day 68 and very sober. I am full of energy and have managed to fill the “free time” with constructive activities. I will be drinking today as I celebrate my birthday with my family – drinking tea, juice and unfermented red grape juice. Thank you to Janet, Zaida and to all of you for saving my life. I am truly blessed.”
(from a whisky drinker who attended our Joburg workshop in April 2017)
Testimonials from our Workshops…
“I was very nervous to attend my first World Without Wine workshop in January 2016 – knowing I had to give up wine but not knowing how it would all work out. I have always been a drinker and kept up with the guys. I only realised it was a family issue when my sister got really out of hand and needed rehab to stop cos she was suicidal and that was only about 5 – 8 years ago! Then I started having too much wine “to cope” as a mother but it changed me and I had to stop.
Well I should never have worried about being nervous at my first WWW meeting. The minute I met Janet Gourand and her team (Zaida and Mandy) I felt that this was right. They were warm, accepting and fun. I felt drawn into the fold and have been with WWW since then. I really thought the workshop so worthwhile as it allowed us to tell our stories and no matter how “bad” they were, we could all laugh, compare notes and feel as if we were still human. Like-minded people with similar issues could chat and not be judged.
No one likes to admit they have an alcohol problem but most alcohol problems are like a disease – uncontrollable in some ways but also resolvable in other ways. We can always get better but it is so much easier when you do it with friends. Janet has become a friend to all of us who attended her workshops. She never judges, only accepts and guides, assists and notices. If you have issues with alcohol, my recommendation is to do the workshop then sign for recovery then wellness coaching. Stick to your goals and your life will change forever. I have been dry for 14 months now thanks to WWW and that first workshop!”
“If I could give a written testimonial I would say that the biggest lesson I took from your workshop was the realisation that I was not alone in my dependence on alcohol and that I was not a “loser” or a failure, in fact my fellow participants were highly successful people and all battling the same problem.”